Monday, August 18, 2014

For Vera, Chuck & Dave

Yours Sincerely:  No, Abq Jew is not, thank God, wasting away. But he is, as of today, sixty-four (64) years of age.


From The Beatles Bible:
When I'm Sixty-Four
Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 6, 8, 20, 21 December 1966
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

Released: 1 June 1967 (UK), 2 June 1967 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals, piano, bass
John Lennon: backing vocals, guitar
George Harrison: backing vocals
Ringo Starr: drums, chimes
Robert Burns, Henry MacKenzie, Frank Reidy: clarinets

The first of the Sgt Pepper songs to be recorded, When I'm Sixty-Four was originally intended to be the b-side to Strawberry Fields Forever.

The song dates back to The Beatles' earliest days. Paul McCartney had composed it on the family piano at 20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool "when I was about 15".
Back then I wasn't necessarily looking to be a rock 'n' roller. When I wrote When I'm Sixty-Four I thought I was writing a song for Sinatra. There were records other than rock 'n' roll that were important to me.
Paul McCartney
McCartney used to perform a variation of the song in their Cavern Club era, on piano, when the group's equipment used to stop working.
When I'm Sixty-Four was something Paul wrote in the Cavern days. We just stuck a few more words on it like 'grandchildren on your knee' and 'Vera, Chuck and Dave'. It was just one of those ones that he'd had, that we've all got, really; half a song. And this was just one that was quite a hit with us. We used to do them when the amps broke down, just sing it on the piano.
John Lennon
The song was dusted down in 1966, the year McCartney's father Jim turned 64. When I'm Sixty-Four focuses on a young man anxiously looking towards old age; the vocals were sped up in the studio to make them sound more sprightly.

The music is suitably old-fashioned, with a music hall melody and an arrangement prominently featuring George Martin's clarinet score.
 A small cultural note from Wikipedia:
McCartney's children recorded a special version of "When I'm Sixty-Four" at Abbey Road Studios as a surprise present for McCartney's 64th birthday in June 2006, and played it for him at his birthday party. They changed the lyrics to fit the occasion with the help of Giles Martin.
At the time, by unfortunate coincidence, McCartney was recently separated from his second wife, Heather Mills; they later divorced.

http://youtu.be/tGtSpsYURAQ

Thank you, everyone, for all your birthday wishes.
To paraphrase Allan Sherman
(Shticks and Stones, from the album My Son, The Folksinger):
Thank God for Obamacare and the Blue Cross
and next year (God willing)
I'll be on Medicare!

1 comment:

Madalene Kesner said...

I am Madalene Kesner from Long Island. Was wondering if you are from there? I've been here about 30 years.